How To Trade With Focus

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Here is a link to the recent webinar I conducted with FuturesTrader71 and Futures.io. One of the topics that came up was dealing with emotionality during trading. Morad made the excellent point that we are most apt to respond to markets emotionally if we become too attached to the profits and losses of each trade. If we define, refine, and follow a sound trading process, we can allow the probabilities to work themselves out in our favor without getting too wrapped up in any single trade.  

A point that I brought up is that, often, it's not emotion itself that is the problem for traders but an absence of focus. In other words, if we're operating in the flow state--in the zone--we are absorbed in market action and understanding what markets are doing. It's the presence of focus that provides us with emotional distance. For example, when I am working with someone as a psychologist and intently listening to what they're saying, I'm not thinking about myself, how much money I'll make from the meeting, how I feel about what they're saying, etc. Being in the zone naturally takes us out of our own heads and away from our own emotional reactions.

As the quote above indicates, what we focus on expands. When we focus on something, we reinforce it. If we focus on our shortcomings, we diminish our self esteem. If we focus on losing money, we reinforce our insecurities. When we focus on mastery and understanding, we expand our sense of competence.  

I mentioned in the webinar that many people try out meditation as a way of building focus, but they don't go about it the right way. They meditate long enough to relax, not long enough to enter the zone. This is why I like biofeedback devices that give immediate feedback as to whether or not you're in the zone. Simply trying to dampen negative emotions doesn't work. We need to get ourselves into a quiet, focused state and then sustain that state for increasing periods of time. 

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